Senator Kane Vows To Continue Fight For Municipal Accountability Legislation

April 14, 2008

Senator Rob Kane (R-32) has promised to continue fighting to pass his proposed municipal accountability legislation this year despite the Appropriations Committee’s recent rejection of the bill.

“I am disappointed that the Appropriations Committee rejected the municipal accountability bill on a tie vote, but there are still a few weeks left in the legislative session and I will spend that time working to convince legislators to support my bill,” said Senator Kane, a member of the Appropriations Committee.

The Appropriations Committee defeated SB 374, An Act Concerning Financial And Management Audits Of Municipalities, on a 25 to 25 tie vote on April 11th. The legislature’s Planning & Development Committee had approved the bill earlier, and it was referred to the Appropriations Committee for further consideration.

Specifically, the legislation would permit state auditors to audit the books and accounts of municipalities with populations exceeding 75,000 persons (as of the most recent 10-year census) that receive more than 35 percent of their annual operating funds from the state. Audit reports would include any recommendations to operate the municipalities more efficiently or improve their financial conditions. Currently, Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury meet the criteria outlined in the bill.

“We are still negotiating a budget adjustment bill, and I believe there is room to include the municipal accountability bill in those discussions. This is something I will be discussing with legislators over the next few weeks,” said Senator Kane.

Senator Kane once again emphasized his belief that Connecticut residents have the right to believe that their tax dollars are being spent both wisely and efficiently.

“As I have said before, it is not unreasonable to believe that municipalities that depend heavily on state funds could benefit from the advice of the state’s financial experts. And it is reasonable to believe that the state’s taxpayers would welcome legislation that provides for accountability,” said Senator Kane.

Senator Kane was elected to represent the 32nd Senatorial District in a January 15th special election. His district includes the communities of Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Roxbury, Seymour, Southbury, Thomaston, Watertown and Woodbury.